Greetings Tribble players, forum browsers, and the like;
I have posted this thread herein to relay my personal feedback/experience as a newer player to the STO MMO, having been selected for 'close beta' of the Romulan faction introduction as of this past weekend up to level 21.
Let me start with a little background on myself; I have been playing MMO's and MMO type games since back when we played in text format on MUD's and BBS's then expanded to the more modern style MMO's as they became available- My first having been Ultima Online, my most recent-to-last being SWTOR, and a numerous amount of games in-between. In that passage of time I have tested numerous Beta clients and been a part of multiple expansion beta tests as well.
Long story made short; I am now a devout STO fan-addict, and many thanks to the team @ STO for providing me the chance to get some early insight & provide feedback regarding their Romulan faction gameplay & the additional/new features it will be bringing to us.
Although I have had a longer than average stint playing in MMO games; I am not at all the run-of-the-mill grind to top level at maximum warp player. That having been said not only is this outtake from a 'new' player to STO it is also feedback from one of the more passive MMO players and not at all the 'teen' rush thru your game type.
I plan to return to this posting if/when able to provide any further feedback as further progression is made and insight therefrom seems worthy.
The new character creation screens
Initial character creation, prior to that experienced from Legacy of Romulus, did seem slightly confusing at first. With the Legacy Of Romulus changes I definitely felt it had improved greatly. While it was definitely pleasing to still have the classic 'advanced' option readily available for that in-depth char customization, the newer preset options available not only provide greater diversity than prior, but also can help that player not real interested in customizations so much as playing the game.
The only thing I would say in regards is it might be helpful to clarify or make more visible the 'advanced' option in the creation window as it did take me a min to find that for the more hands-on customizations from the preset options available. Also it was slightly disturbing to see my customizations disappear if/when my mouse floated over any of the preset options making me think I had affected a change I had not. Might be better to not have them auto-update just from a mouse over as opposed to actually 'clicking' on the preset option. Granted once the pointer was moved from the preset option my avatar returned to what I had been customizing-still this could result in possibly unwanted mistakes for newer players to the interface altogether.
The initial questing as it opens and is traditional with most MMOs, aims to familiarize a new player to the game with navigation and simple game interactions. While there are countless features and tutorials I have yet to fully encounter from the Romulan faction and how far I progressed prior to being unable to play further for the weekend- I would say of what I had been exposed it does seem a little less explicit with the 'new player' feeling. While the game does take time to go over controls and interactions; it seemed to me that the Federation passage of the same was a bit more explicit-not at all saying either is 'better' simply that the Federation start from 0 definitely handles the navigation and character controls training a bit more explicitly.
The feeling of playing Romulan vs. Klingon or Federation play
Whether a plus or minus; is really for the eye of the beholder to determine, but I would say in a brief description that the Romulan 'feeling' of the game is that of a science fiction Lord of the Rings type feeling. The scenery and requests of the quest-givers very much reminded me of questing in Lord of the Rings with a sci-fi flavor added. I would say this definitely is a change from the indoor white-lighting feeling of the Federation and the veritable cave-dweller feeling offered initially from the current Klingon Faction beginning. Overall I would say this is a good thing as it helps break from the feeling of the factions feeling all too similar to one another.
Better direction moving forward
To sum up the above I have to go over my first character to the game and how he progressed to admiral rank long before realizing there were 'episodes' he could be progressing a story through as opposed to the hundreds of side items that distracted from as much. While the advent of having plenty to do in the game is a plus for sure, the reality is when I started Federation and got the episode-related quest buried in what seemed a never-ending quest log; it took working through a great many of the quests prior to my discovery of as much on my own. By the time I realized that was there however I had already managed to progress to top level and rank in the game. While this made the episode play slightly more worth my while in terms of the items the quests offered as reward and such; it also created a failure in my eyes as I had not been immersed to continue with that story/quest line as hard as maybe i should have been. With the Romulans this appears to be lesser of a hazard to be potentially faced by a new player.
All in all from what little exposure I managed to siphon into my weekend of gaming in LOR I have to say from what I have seen so far it has not only been a pleasure but very entertaining and well put together as well. I hope to have further input beyond the above given time, but did not feel right simply enjoying the Romulans without sharing that pleasure in some means, as requested, herein.
Thus far my progress may have been minimal (namely spent in the opening quest until out of the new player tutorial) but the experience has only further enticed the anticipation for May 21st.
I do hope to provide more input as time to experience more is allotted me; but for what I have experienced of the Romulans from ground up to my current progress has only managed to frustrate me in one regard- not having more time to progress further. Thankfully in a month's time, I'll have the remaining lifetime of the game for it, but definitely hope to have more feedback to offer prior to then.
Thus far, great game, great expansion, excellent additions and changes being observed; and rest assured any of my friends not currently playing STO, have only received further pressure from myself after observing such exciting and enjoyable additions on their way.
Keep it coming, and I will do my best to do the same.